Jairo Avila collected his first career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards top ten finish in the Full Throttle S’loonshine 98.9 at Kansas Speedway on Friday. It was his second time behind the wheel of an ARCA Racing Series car, and his first time at the Kansas City, Kansas 1.5 mile track.
“What amazing night! I started 15th, and with pit strategy we made it as high as 4th! We fell outside the top ten after our last pit stop, but I was able to make my way back up to 10th. I can’t thank everyone who has helped me over the years enough! I especially want to thank Carlos Lira, Lira Motorsports, my amazing parents and the man above for helping me tonight.”
The 20-year-old racer from Alhambra, California was 16th fastest in ARCA’s two-hour practice session earlier in the day on Friday. After the session, Avila, who goes by the nickname ‘JA Junior’, commented “We concentrated on long runs in practice and didn’t do a mock-qualifying run, while almost everyone else did. My Momo, Ford Performance, TraqGear Ford Fusion is fast and will be good in the race!”
Starting from the 15th position, Avila gained four spots in the opening laps of the race. He made his first pit stop from the 11th position during the second caution of the race on lap 27. He rejoined the field in 14th, but stayed out under the next caution that fell three laps later.
With several cars making pit stops under that caution, Avila gained valuable track position, taking the next restart from 4th place. He raced inside of the top ten for the next 20 laps, before making his final pit stop of the day under caution on lap 68.
Rejoining the field in 14th, Avila raced up to the 9th spot before ultimately dropping back to 10th. He maintained the 10th position through the checkered flag of the 99 lap event.
“I love racing in the ARCA Series. They always have a very competitive field, and the exposure that they provide with their national TV coverage is great,” Avila commented after the race. When he left the track, he was headed to Virginia where he will compete with several other drivers in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) combine between October 19th and October 21st. This is second straight year that he was invited to the combine. “The experience I have gained since last year’s combine, especially my ARCA races with Lira Motorsports here and at Pocono in August, will definitely be something I draw on as I go through the combine this year.”